O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.
O Emmanuel, you are our king and judge the one whom the people await and their saviour. O come and save us Lord our God.
God with us – Emmanuel – addresses the one who is nearly here the one we truly await. God with us. Not a distant god but a kindly human heart of a child one like us in all things but sin a child full of human weakness, dependent on mother and father for everything. He takes our human nature because he desires us to have his divine nature.
The antiphon reminds us of characters we have already mentioned in our prayer: a king like David, a judge like Samuel (the wisdom of God) the lawgiver like Moses and he is the saviour who is to come. If he has given a law, then we should obey it – his law is the law of love of God and neighbour. If he is to become our King, then we give submission of our will, if he is to be a wise judge, we need to seek wisdom in all of our actions, and if he is our saviour, we long for his fulfilment in us.
When we ask for the Lord our God to come, it sums us the journey of our seven days. We have sought the one who is to come and now we are on the threshold of salvation when he who is God with us -Emmanuel – will be born of the Virgin Mary and the eternal God enters into human history.
As we now celebrate the Solemnity of the Incarnation, let us thank God for all of the blessings he bestows upon us, but above all for the salvation won for us through his life death and resurrection.
For there is a child born for us, a son given for us and dominion is laid upon his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.